Strontium

Sr Element

The chemical name of Sr is Strontium. Strontium is an element having an atomic number of 38 and atomic mass 87.62 g.mol-1. By nature, Strontium is an alkaline earth metal. Owing to its electronic configuration, Sr element has some specific properties and happens to be highly reactive. It is an alkaline earth metal and is yellowish and silver-white. The metal also reacts with air to produce a dark oxide layer. Physically and chemically, the Sr element is similar to its neighbours on the periodic table—Calcium and barium. Strontium was discovered collaboratively by Adair Crawford and William Cruikshank in 1790.


Sr Chemical Nature 

The chemical nature of Strontium is very reactive. In the periodic table, Strontium belongs to group 2. It has a high melting point of 777°C or 1431°F or 1050 K. Strontium belongs to period five and has a boiling point of 1377°C or 2511°F or 1650 K. The density of Sr element (where Sr is the chemical symbol for Strontium) is 2.64 g cm3 and is in the block s of the periodic table. With an atomic number of 38, the relative atomic mass of Strontium is 87.62. The metal has four isotopes--84Sr, 86Sr, 87Sr, 88Sr. Strontium's electronic configuration [Kr] 5s and CAS number 7440-24-6. 


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Uses of Strontium

Sr, in chemistry, has many applications. Typical uses of Strontium are listed below:


In Television

Sr chemical name Strontium has the most important application in the production of glass manufacture of cathode ray tubes found in colour television. However, this use of Sr element is gradually on the decline owing to the declining usage of CRTs in televisions. This has consequently significantly affected the way Strontium is mined and refined.


In Fireworks 

Strontium is used to create Strontium Carbonate and other Strontium salts which are used to give red colour to fireworks. This property also helps to distinguish Strontium from other elements in a flame test. The production of fireworks constitutes 5 percent of the world's total output.


In Biology and Medicine

Strontium is present in varied quantities in all living organisms. Since Strontium is quite similar to the element calcium, it is located in bones. In Europe and Australia, Strontium ranelate, which is a pharmacologic agent, is used to treat osteoporosis in individuals. However, this method is not allowed in Canada or the United States. In orthopaedic surgery, injectable acrylic bone cement is commonly used to treat prostheses. For arthroplasties of the knee, hip and other joints and fixation of metallic or polymer prosthetics implants to bones, Conventional polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) is used. However, this method still suffers from certain drawbacks such as a high exothermic reaction and poor attachment of bone cement to the bone surface.


In Geology

Strontium, owing to its strong association with calcium, is very useful in indicating the presence of calcareous rocks, especially those associated with Mg and Ba. In places where Ca, along with other elements give an indication of calcareous rocks and felsic intrusive indicated by other elements, the bedrock geology would be favourable for different elements.


Properties of Strontium  

Strontium's atomic number is 38, and Sr's atomic mass is 88. The Sr element (chemical name strontium) has four isotopes which are naturally occurring out of which 88Sr is most commonly found in nature. Chemically there are similarities between Strontium and other heavier alkaline earth metals such as Barium and Calcium. Strontium has a vigorous reaction with water and tarnishes and tarnishes rapidly in air. Strontium is commonly found combined with other elements and compounds owing to the highly reactive nature of the element. Strontium which has been turned into fine powder will ignite spontaneously in air and result in the formation of Strontium nitride and Strontium Oxide. Sr is a metallic lithophile element. An ion of Sr2+ has a size of 118pm which is in between the sizes if calcium ion (100pm) and potassium ion (138pm) and readily substitutes in a large number of minerals which are rock-forming like dolomite, calcium, gypsum, plagioclase and K-feldspar. Sr minerals are comparatively rare, but some of them are SrCO3 and SrSO4, which are included in pegmatites or hydrothermal deposits. 


Did You Know? 

Here's a very interesting Strontium element fact . Although naturally occurring Strontium (strontium-88) is stable, the Strontium-90 which is synthetic is very radioactive. Strontium-90 is one of the most harmful aspects of nuclear fallout. This is because the human body absorbs Strontium like Calcium. Naturally occurring stable Strontium does not harm us. Owing to the high reactivity of Strontium, it usually occurs only in the form of compounds.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is Strontium Used for?

Ans. Strontium is most commonly used in fireworks where the salts of this element lend a dark red colour to the flames. Strontium is also widely used in the manufacture of ferrite magnets and refining zinc. Paints which glow in the dark and plastics also have Strontium Aluminate in them. These objects absorb sunlight and discharge it slowly for an extended period of time. Strontium-90 is a by- product of nuclear reactors and is highly radioactive. Strontium-90 is also found in nuclear fallout and has a half-life of about 28 years. But Strontium-90 is also one of the most efficient known high-energy beta-emitters.

2. What are Some Properties of Strontium?

Ans.  Strontium is silvery yellow, soft and is an alkaline earth metal. Strontium's allotropic crystalline forms are three in number. The physical and chemical properties of Strontium are very similar to Ba and Ca. Strontium is very reactive in nature and reacts with air and water, forming a yellowish oxide. Thus, Sr is kept under a liquid hydrocarbon for this reason. Owing to the high reactivity of Strontium, it occurs combined with other compounds and elements naturally. A flame test is used to distinguish Strontium from other elements since Strontium has a bright red flame. Strontium's atomic number is 38, and the atomic mass is mass 87.62 gmol⁻¹.